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The Rachel Maddow Show

News/Business. (2013)

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Paul Broun 20, Us 8, Washington 8, U.s. 8, Georgia 8, Karl Rove 7, Steve King 6, Obama 6, John Brennan 5, Chuck Hagel 4, Michael Isikoff 4, Barack Obama 2, New York 2, Pennsylvania 2, Eliot Spitzer 2, Bush 2, E.j. Dionne 2, Hagel 2, E.j. 2, Anwar Al Awlaki 2,
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  MSNBC    The Rachel Maddow Show    News/Business.  (2013)  

    February 6, 2013
    1:00 - 1:59am PST  

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political muscle, the votes to do this. they've got three that republicans that would have to turn on this. with the likely of that is not very good. what are we going to see happen to pennsylvania here? what will this do? this will not make it a critical state in 2016? >> i think it's likely if candidates know they're not going to get all of those 20 votes, they're going to focus their attention elsewhere. republicans have to think will candidates bypass pennsylvania? they have to think of the blowback here. like we said earlier, this is the same strategy they're pushing earlier before. there is going to be significant public pressure against them. it's going to seem like they're changing the rules in the middle of the game. they're going to seem like a sore loser strategy there is going to be a lot of blowback. >> democrats tried similar voting changes. does that make it right for the republicans to do it? >> no. the only reason when we should be doing this is if everyone does it. every state does a proportional vote or every state abolishes the electoral college. we can't have do it some proportionally and some winner takes all. >> they're getting ready for hillary.
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they know they can't beat hillary clinton so they have to do it in the best way they can. >> they don't seem too confident right now. >> no doubt. ari berman, thanks for joining us. i appreciate it. that is "the ed show." i'm ed schultz. "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. great story you broke last night. >> thank you very much. we have a follow-up on that scoop tonight that i'm really looking forward to, ed. thanks a lot. >> it's got a lot of liberals troubled, no question about it. >> and i also think in the business that we are in, i spend a lot of time defending us from people who say that we're just like fox. there is a lot of criticism from the left from this administration who people who see themselves as principled liberals, and it's civil. that's really different than the dynamic you see on the right. and i'm real proud of that. >> no question about it. thanks. >> thanks a lot, man. thanks to you at home as well for joining us this hour. there is lots going on right now in the news, including some unexpected progress on the issue of guns and public safety. they said it couldn't be done.
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also today, the unheralded but fairly dramatic resolution of a fight that senate republicans said they would win, but today they lost. also today crime and punishment news concerning wall street where the consensus reaction off wall street was really? those guys aren't in jail already? that's all ahead tonight. plus charts imitating life. we've got the one-time sheriff of wall street, former new york governor, new york attorney general eliot spitzer here. we've got more, as i said to ed, more on michael isikoff's big security scoop. there is lots ahead this hour. but we start tonight in the fall of 2008 when president obama was first elected. he was elected on november 4th, 2008. and after the partisan combat of that election faded quickly and the country absorbed that this was going to be our new president of the united states, the approval ratings for barack obama soared. his approval rates went to 79%. by inauguration day 2009, nearly two million people would turn
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out on the national mall to see him sworn in. it was a heady, heady time whether or not you had voted for him. but of course that was not true for everybody. election day was november 4th. november 10th, so six days later, not even a week later, there was one republican congressman from georgia who was already denouncing the president-elect as both a marxist and a nazi. if you think about it, it's kind of a hard thing to pull off simultaneously, right? a marxist and a nazi? look at the time stamp here. november 10th, 2008. congressman paul broun of georgia telling the associated press already at that point that he, quote, fears that president-elect obama will establish a gestapo-like security force to impose a marxist dictatorship. that's exactly what hitler did in nazi germany, and it's exactly what the soviet union did. yes, barack obama still months
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away from even being sworn in as president at that point. but congressman paul broun was already on him for being both a nazi and a soviet communist. and that kind of set the tone for how congressman paul broun of georgia would handle himself over the next four years. >> i believe this administration wants to destroy the free enterprise system. there is a word for that, socialism. he is a marxist. >> fellow patriots, we have a lot of domestic enemies of the constitution and they're right down the mall in the congress of the united states. and right down independence avenue in the white house of -- that belongs to us. it's not about my ability to hunt, which i love to do. it's not about the ability for me to protect my family and my property against criminals, which we have the right to do. but it's about, it's all about
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us protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government of the united states. >> do you think president obama is a socialist? >> i know he is. in fact, you look at his own writings, he said when he was in college, he leaned to marxist tendencies and marxist professors. he joined marxist clubs. you look at who he has put in his administration, they're avowed socialists. >> but you think he is an american citizen and a christian? >> well, i'm not going get involved in that i'm talking about -- >> you can't say he is an american citizen? >> well -- >> you can't say the president is an american citizen? >> i don't know. >> you don't know. and is he a christian? >> i don't know that. >> who knows if the president is a christian? and who knows if the president is an american citizen? who knows if the president is really not the president because he is secretly foreign? who knows if the president caused the deepwater horizon spill on purpose.
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>> using the crisis of this oil spill to try to promote his energy tax. and i've had numerous people all over the district question whether his poor response to this oil spill was purposeful so that he could promote his energy tax. i don't know. >> i don't know. maybe he is just letting that oil spill for political purposes, because he is a nazi and a marxist. who could know? the same congressman decided during the state of the union address in 2011 that he would not attend the speech in congress, but rather he would troll the speech on twitter. quote, you don't believe in the constitution, mr. president. you believe in socialism. that's what he was tweeting during the state of the union. he has declared nancy pelosi a domestic enemy against whom he is sworn to protect the nation. he has said that president obama is part of a socialistic elite planning to declare martial law. and he has said that the
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president may use the excuse of a flu pandemic to declare a martial law. he said, quote, we've seen that historically. guess how this gentleman feels about health reform? >> folks, this is obama care. let me start this by telling you what i think of this bill and obama care. they only have one agenda, and that is socialism. i call it -- i call it a steamroll of socialism that is being driven by nancy pelosi, harry reid, and fueled by barack obama. >> so very strong feelings about obama care. i should also tell you, though, that congressman browne also has very strong feelings about fruits and vegetables. he has very, very strong feelings about fruits and vegetables. >> the cdc, they're going to be calling you and finding out how many fruits and vegetables you eat today. this is socialism of the highest order.
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>> you see, there is dominions and cherubims and seraphims. and the cdc calling on your vegetable intake. the highest order. one more. this came when people started to lose patience with the fact that the republican party puts guys like paul broun on the science committee in congress. yes, paul broun is on the science committee. he oversees federal science policy for us as a nation. >> i've come to understand that all that stuff i was taught about evolution and embryology and big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. and it's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. >> that one led to a write-in campaign in this past election where people in paul broun's georgia district got thousands of voters to write in charles darwin instead of voting for paul broun.
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it was protest vote against him while he ran unopposed technically. it was also a plea to the republican party in washington to at least please not put that pit of hell guy back on the science committee. republicans in washington put him back on the science committee anyway. the existence of a congressman like paul broun says something about our times, and it says something about his district, and it says something about the bar to entrance in congress since apparently it does not exclude a man who apparently thinks the soviet union still exists. that's him accusing president obama of upholding the soviet constitution. that was from this past year. the importance of congressman paul broun today is that paul broun is running to be the next u.s. senator from the great state of georgia. paul broun's wife is already reported to have started telling people that back in georgia. paul broun himself is reported to be telling donors already. and at a press conference tomorrow afternoon in georgia paul broun is expected to officially get into the u.s. senate race. unless of course all this reporting is lies straight from the pit of hell.
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>> all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. >> if it's not lies straight from the pit of hell, then paul broun is in the running to be the republican party's standard bearer when they try to hold on to georgia's soon to be open senate seat once saxby chambliss retires. what could possibly go wrong with paul broun as their candidate? and further news how paul broun is adjusting to a second term of barack obama, senators decided in virginia that voting should be made much harder in that state. in the state of arkansas, republicans voted their state should ban abortion at 20 weeks. this comes just days after republicans in the senate there voted that their state should ban abortion not at 20 weeks, but at six weeks. in iowa today, a new round of polling shows that iowa republicans first choice for their open seat does remain congressman steve king.
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congressman steve king, seen here in this footage, demonstrating on the floor of the house how he thinks that immigrants should be electrocuted just like livestock. the announcement from karl rove's money machine a few days ago that they would try to stop candidates like steve king and paul broun from continuing to cost the republican party seats in the u.s. senate. the reaction to that announcement on the right was immediately and uniformly and vociferously hostile. how dare karl rove and his money guys try to do any such thing. and so yes, paul broun and steve king may be the prototypical examples of the kind of off the cooke end candidates that karl rove and the big money guys do not want in republican politics, because those are the kind of guys that lose senate seats that are otherwise winnable. but karl rove and his money guys kind of stand alone in that assessment. the rest of the party wants that. they want those guys. and they want it not naively. they know what they are getting. steve king and paul broun have been around for a long time. when the party stands up and
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says these are the guys they want, they know who they're talking about. they know who these guys are. and it is what they choose. so if you were a republican party stalwart, if you were part of the republican party and you loved the republican party and you wanted what was best for the republican party, what would you do at a time like this? what would you say? how would you try to fix this problem? well, today in washington house majority leader eric cantor tried something, and he does this from time to time, as he tries to be taken seriously as a leader of his party, or at least as a potential leader of his party. in 2010, eric cantor launched his young guns thing. young guns, presumably to try to
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supplant the old guns in the party. he then launched something called cut and grow so you at home could set the republican party's agenda instead of the old guys in the party who are setting the party's agenda. in 2009 he launched something called the national council for a new america to tap outside the beltway ideas for the republican party's agenda. sadly, the pizza parlor that he chose for that launch event for his big outside the belt initiative was a pizza parlor that literally was inside the beltway. you see, the beltway is not just a metaphor for things around washington. the beltway is a freeway around the d.c. area that defines that area. and mr. cantor's outside the beltway pizza parlor excitement was actually well inside that freeway loop. and that actually was the only event that that eric cantor republican party relaunch ever had. so eric cantor does not have the world's greatest track record with relaunching his party, right, with choosing a new republican party image that everybody should go along with because he has suggested it. he keeps doing it, but nobody ever seems to follow his lead. still, though, he is trying. today in his latest effort he called for his party to accept the concept of the dream act at least in terms of immigration reform. but while he was doing that,
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literally at the same time, his own party members in his own house were holding their own hearing on immigration reform, denouncing reform as amnesty and denouncing any path to legal citizenship, like for example the dream act, as something that was way too extreme. so who wins this fight ultimately? eric cantor and karl rove and all the beltway sages saying the republican party really has to get its act together, or the lies from the pit of hell guys? the electric fence, no amnesty, we'll just make it harder to vote, ban abortion, tripoli ban abortion, home state republicans who are not shifting position one iota and see no reason to. who wins this fight? and given that it makes up half of the major party apparatus in our american democracy, what do we do in the meantime while this fight is happening? joining us is e.j. dionne, author of "our divided political heart" which is now out in paperback. e.j., great to have you here. thanks for being here. >> good to be with you. >> this is the fourth time that eric cantor has attempted to rebrand the republican party. when he has previously tried to do that, it has not stuck. how do you think he is doing
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now? >> first of all, when karl rove is on the progressive side of the argument, you know how far to the right the republican party has gone. i think there is a giveaway in the word "rebranding" because rebranding doesn't talk about changing the product. the same stuff is still inside the can. it's about a new label with a nice friendly type face, nicer
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colors. but what is inside the can is the same. but i think there is very hopeful news -- that's my job on this show, to be hopeful -- in what eric cantor did today. one of the most important things in politics is to control the terms of the political debate. and if you read eric cantor's speech, the terms of that speech were progressive terms. the question he was asking is what can government do to help make people's lives better. that's not the old republican question. the old republican question was how can we create a smaller government? how can we cut taxes on those job creators, the rich people. and we've been here before. the democrats tried to do this in the reagan era when they all tried to look like members of chambers of commerce or corporate boards. so when eric cantor has to go out there and say message we care, you know something is changing in american politics. >> well, how did karl rove and -- actually, george w. bush specifically on the issue of immigration, how did these guys get on the left side of the argument? i mean, has there been a backlash against them on the right that has driven the party further right in a way that has demonized them, and now they need to be seen as the old liberal establishment, or has something else been going on? >> well, i think you begin to see the backlash against bush right in the middle of his term. remember, he tried, as did a lot of democrats and john mccain to get immigration reform through in 2007. and that's when the backlash grew. and then when the bush administration was deemed a
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failure, which many of us believed broadly that it was, a lot of conservatives said that's true. and instead of trying to moderate the party then, they said the problem was this compassionate conservative guy was too liberal. so they pulled the party way over to the right. the problem they have now is the tea party folks are the folks who kind of got them there in 2010. and it's as if the republicans are saying well, we needed your votes to drive this car to the country club, but we really don't want to let you inside the country club. so they're courting a kind of class warfare in the republican party over the next couple of years. >> e.j., one of the things i think you have written about more eloquently than anybody else is the idea of -- you've written ambitiously i should say about the idea of civility, that we can have reasonable disagreements about even very profound differences in governing philosophy in ways that don't threaten violence. in ways that are about honoring the basic democratic agreement that we have as americans. what struck me going through paul broun's record today, and i ended up swimming around in it for way too long and now i feel like i need to take a shower is
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that he and steve king, these are guys who really consistently sell an almost militiaesque apocalyptic line. you know, the president as hitler, the coming authoritarian dictatorship, and mixing up fascism and marxism and all of these things. that timeless -- or does that become less politically valuable to them over time? is that going to go out of fashion while barack stil >> the lo i mea and when you look at the re of th throwi none of that. and that suggests to me that at least some of these guys know that that stuff makes them kooky to a lot of people who might agree with them on some issues but aren't going to go there to overflowing the dictatorship in washington as they put it. a lot of americans don't think we live under a dictatorship, and they're right. >> e.j. dionne, setting the barlow there. hopefully we can agree on that. thank you for being here, e.j. it's great to see you. >> thank you. lots more to come, including a follow-up on michael isikoff's scoop from last night's show. that story has gotten much bigger since then.
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and eliot spitzer live here with us tonight. please stay with us. last night on this show investigative agent michael isikoff broke a story about obama and its policies. he broke the story ahead of the president's announcement for new choice of cia director, john brennan. john brennan was once the deputy cia director. he is now president obama's counterterrorism director at the
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white house. but if he is to run the cia for president obama, john brennan is first going to have to face questions on thursday about some of what michael isikoff turned up here on this program last night. a justice department white paper elaborating the administration's reasoning for why it thinks it is legal to kill american citizens on the president's say so. or actually, on the say so of an informed high level official of the u.s. government. so maybe that's the president, but maybe that's somebody else. michael isikoff's scoop ended up at "the new york times" today and "the washington post" and "the hill" and slate and salon and ap to name a few. it was everywhere. and then at a press conference today, the attorney general was asked about it. >> last night nbc reported a white paper that was prepared by the justice department undated, unsigned about the legal -- the
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legal pinnacles for targeting americans overseas. could you please give us what the precise definition is and how that would be carried out? >> well, there have been a series of speeches that i gave, jay johnson gave, john brennan gave where we try to lay out for the american people the considerations that go into the operations. we say that we only take these kinds of actions when there is an imminent threat. >> mr. attorney general, you brought up the phrase "imminent threat." is that the same as an ongoing threat or is this a difference? >> so many of these things are fact-based. i can't necessarily get into the weeds and kind of parse these things. you can't examine these terms without having a reference to the facts. >> the fax. these things are based on facts. facts that i cannot -- facts that i cannot tell you. so i cannot reference them because i cannot tell you them,
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but they are facts. watch. >> why not release the memos? i mean, you were a driving force behind releasing the bush administration's torture memos. why aren't you a force for this? >> well, i mean, we'll have to look at this and see how -- what it is we want to do with these memos. but you have to understand that we are talking about things that are -- that go into really kind of how we conduct our offensive operations. >> right. exactly. they go into how you conduct your offensive operations. that's the thing we want to know about. >> this memo, the memo doesn't seem to be classified. the writer is marked confidential, but not classified. why not release that to the
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general public? you said you can only discuss that in a classified setting. but the memo we're discussing. we're taking what sounds like an ongoing threat and saying it's an imminent threat. >> that's something we would have to look exactly what is in the white paper. we would have to look into that. >> you're not aware of what is in the white paper? >> we'll have to look that. >> have to look into that. you know, your agency wrote it. also, nbc put the whole thing online. seriously, check it out. super easy. we linked it at maddow blog. 16 pages long, shorter than most articles in the new yorke now a bipartisan group of 11 senators has written to president obama asking him to release about what is still secret about why the president and the administration think it is legal to kill americans this way. quote, it is vitally for congress and the american public to have a full understanding of how the executive branch interprets the limits and bound relatives this authority so that congress and the public can decide whether this authority has been properly defined and whether the president's power to deliberately kill american citizens is subject to appropriate limitations and safeguards. honestly, in the real world, particularly in the real political world, there is some
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compunction, but very little compunction about the president using extreme counterterrorism measures. the president using lethal force against bad guys. in the case against the american whose killing seems to have inspired a lot of the secret legal reasoning, the case against anwar al awlaki doesn't seem to tug at the heart strings. adds a senior recruiter for al
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qaeda he was associated with the mass shooting attack at ft. hood in 2009 in texas and with the attempted christmas day airliner attack, the underwear bomber, right?
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later that same year. if we accept that the u.s. is at war with al qaeda, then it is not a stretch to believe that the u.s. would target a prominent al qaeda figure like anwar al awlaki in that war. with some exceptions, the broad political and moral issue here is not an issue with u.s. forces killing bad guys. the issue here is who is a bad guy and how do you figure it out? if this is the means by which we're going to decide not that you're going to be arrested and tried, but the means by which we will decide whether the president can order you dead, then on what basis is the president making that decision? how do they determine who is a bad guy? or as oregon senator ron wyden put it in a question, a written question to the president's cia nominee john brennan, how much evidence does the president need and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien. allergic reactions such as shortness of breath or swelling of your tongue or throat may occur and may be fatal. intermezzo should not be taken if you have taken another sleep medicine at bedtime or in the middle of the night or drank alcohol that day. do not drive or operate machinery
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until at least 4 hours after taking intermezzo and you're fully awake. driving, eating, or engaging in other activities while not fully awake without remembering the event the next day have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations, or confusion. alcohol or taking other medicines that make you sleepy may increase these risks. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. intermezzo, like most sleep medicines, has some risk of dependency. common side effects are headache, nausea, and fatigue. so if you suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia, ask your doctor about intermezzo and return to sleep again. ♪ woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ]
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woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you -- including the fact that a preferred risk policy starts as low as $129 a year. for an agent, call the number that appears on your screen. our economy right now is headed in the right direction, and it will stay that way as long as there aren't any more self-inflicted wounds coming out of washington.
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the president today made an
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appeal to congress to delay the latest self-inflicted crisis that d.c. has arranged for itself. the president insists that there is no reason to go through with that automatic set of cuts so deep they could easily throw us into another recession. he says there is a reasonable way forward to talk about taxes and the budget and the overall future of government spending without forcing ourselves into another round of harried negotiations. the republicans of course want another round of harried negotiations. they say they do not want out of this latest self-imposed crisis in washington. they want to use the threat of that crisis. they want to use the threat of this sequester thing, the threat of a self-imposed recessionary force to force the president
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into spending cuts he otherwise would not make. "the wall street journal" reported earlier this month on why they feel that way. quote, the driving passion for mr. boehner in these fiscal debates is his conviction that trillion deficits are sapping the country of its energy and prosperity. trillion deficits, his driving passion. everybody loves john boehner's passion.
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but this is supposedly what he feels so passionate about. this is a chart of the country's budget deficit levels every year. red bars are president bush's deficits from 2008 and 2009. blue bars are president obama's deficits. those really big bars are when the whole world economy crashed, including ours. remember that? you notice how the deficit gets smaller when the bars are blue over time? see how they're getting shorter as you go to the right? today the congressional budget office released their deficit projection for 2013. so for this upcoming year, the nonpartisan cbo. according to them under president obama the deficit is slated to continue to shrink, as it has been under president obama. but the supposedly gigantic growth of those deficits is why congressional republicans are
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in march 2007, some of the fine folks at morgan stanley were brainstorming via e-mail about what they wanted to call a new product they were working on. it was an investment package essentially that they would eventually go on to sell to a chinese bank. here are some of the potential product names that were suggested in this brainstorming session by a particular morgan stanley vice president. flutter fish 2007, or mike tyson's punchout 2007, or he also suggested nuclear holocaust 2007. now, you don't think that will sell it? what about subprime meltdown 2007, or perhaps best of all,
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the right-to-the-point suggestion of poopbag 2011. only the morgan stanley guy did not suggest the word "poop" before bag, but suggested the other four-letter word that means the same thing but starts with the letter "s." the reason they insisted on giving their products such derogatory names is because they knew it was poopbag. they would go on to sell it for a price that would indicate it is not worth this. this is why our financial system collapsed. wall street was selling things for prices that did not reflect the value of those things at all. but here is the thing. that was not supposed to be allowed to happen. you're not supposed to be able to sell financial products for way, way, way, way, way, way more than they're actually worth. somebody is supposed to be in
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charge of making sure that the value of investments is at least reasonably related to the price that is put on them. in fact, not just someone, there is a whole industry there is a whole part of the financial sector whose job it is to do that. they rate financial products.
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they give them ratings to help guide consumers as to what they are worth. they issue ratings. they are the ratings agencies. and they are central to the reason wall street cratered. the american economy didn't crater like it had been hit by an asteroid because people were investing in companies that didn't pan out. it wasn't that kind of a collapse. it wasn't that there was a war somewhere and suddenly nobody
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could get any oil or something. that was not why we had a financial collapse. we had a financial collapse because of fakery. we had a financial collapse because people were buying and selling things at prices that were totally, totally fake. and the people who were selling them knew it. it was a con game that everybody was in on. and when everybody finally had to acknowledge that the actual value of these things that they had been trading at these inflated prices was not the value they had been trading them at, everybody finely had to admit what the real value was of these things they had been buying and selling. everything collapsed. so even if you don't understand the overall dynamics of the housing market and all the different ways things are traded and how people in lower manhattan make money off of it, this is the one thing all of cuss grasp about what went wrong when our economy was destroyed in a way that we have still not
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recovered from. that's one thing about the meltdown that everybody gets, right? which makes this headline today both a wow moment and a duh moment. u.s. sues s&p over pre-crisis mortgage ratings. the government alleging that standard & poor's rating agency knowingly inflated its ratings on risky mortgage investments, giving high marks to mortgage-backed securities because it wanted to earn more business from the banks that issued these poopbag investments. oh, "poopbag" isn't in the quote. sorry. i added that. so that's a duh, right? these guys clearly should be busted. these were the guys in charge of the ratings. these were the guys who were supposed to be labeling the poopbag financials as such. eve selli of money stopped be in the do it's today? these we still have not handled that problem? s f very, very worried t t w gov her > b >> have a under and what is the significance of the ratings agency getting in trouble now? >> you got it exactly right. let me be very clear about something. the rating agenci everybody s wro crime. they're right. being wrong isn't a crime. ly >> yeah. >> what happened here, and you got i i banks, the rating of the links in the c selling us poop, to use th >> an hilar that's why they were
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we have a mechanism in place to make sure we will not defraud you the public and the marketplace. of course, self-regulation is one of the great oxymorons of all time. but just so it's clear, the rating agencies are insurance that is paid for by the investment banks so the
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investment banks can pretend that what they're marketing is good. they're paying the rating agencies a small fee so the rating agencies will put the stamp of approval on the debt. the rating agencies which wanted to get that fee which in aggregate was a lot of money, sold the credibility of the market for that profit.
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>> right. >> and that's what this very thorough very good complaint lays bare. >> fraud upon fraud upon fraud. >> i feel as somebody who is not very well versed in this subject, somebody who has never been well versed and just covered it as news, this is with one thing i got very early on was wrong with the system. why did it take so long? >> it shouldn't have taken so long. on the day they announced this
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case, i have been pretty harsh on eric holder of the justice department for not doing much more. on the day they finally make a case, don't want to come down on them again. it should have been years ago. this is indicative of something that has been going on for way too long. and until we get over the presumption.
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you said something that is revealing. you said look, i didn't really understand it.
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it is not technically over, but yeah, it is over, in the senate, there is one threshold of obstructionist that has never been violated. the thing that never happened in the modern-day senate is no senator has filibustered to fill the cabinet.
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so the last 40 years, no matter how unpopular the president's choice for his cabinet, no senator in that time has used the filibuster to deny the cabinet level nominee an up or down vote. not everybody gets through once they're nominated, but nobody gets clocked by just a minority of senators. and it was remarkable when he was asked today the possibility that the republicans may filibuster president obama's nominee for the defense secretary, the leader said it was entirely possible. >> it is unclear yet. senator hagel didn't do a very good job before the armed services committee, i think the opposition to him has intensified, whether it means he will achieve 60 votes or 51 is not clear. >> meaning they will filibuster, the republicans call themselves conservatives. but that word, i don't think it means what you think it means, overthrowing decades of unprecedented issues, it is certain, noises for
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filibustering, that is a leap, if they filibuster chuck hagel, they will not succeed. we know it because of math. there are 55 senators in the democracy caucus, they support chuck hagel, you need 60 to override a filibuster, so if you carry the one, the democrats only need one on their side to support a filibuster, there are two on record supporting chuck hagel for defense secretary, and we've seen reports for another six republican senators who have said that even though they may, oppose hagel, they wouldn't support a filibuster, there are two that seem unlikely to filibuster as well. that means a total of ten republican senators who wouldn't support the filibuster, and if i have done the math right that is double the amount they need to override it.
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it is still more than enough, even if you subtract the squishy two. the vote is not expected until thursday, the full senate vote not expected until after that, but honestly, barring something unforeseen, we'll have a new defense secretary and it will be chuck hagel because of math.
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the white house is pushing ahead with an ambitious domestic policy agenda at the start of the president's second term, just like they said they would. there were indications today on the front page of the "times" that there were indications the president would move sooner rather than later. white house should put congress on alert that they should expect
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to get something done on election reform. president obama is expected to give it some national spotlight during his big prime-time election speech, exactly a week from tonight. the president is expected to look at immigration reform. he met with progressives and labor groups to talk, and then met with business leaders, the ceos of 12 companies to talk about immigration. yesterday, he was in minneapolis to talk about gun violence and gun safety reform. and there has been some movement on the issue of gun safety reform today. some unexpected movement. on the senate side, republican senator from nevada, dean hiller said that looking at it is a reasonable thing to do, a reasonable step forward. yes, that is a baby step, but coming from a republican senator that is a step.